ROADBLOCK: As tensions mount among disgruntled workers in France, François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of PPR, was blocked in his taxi in western Paris for a bit less than an hour on Tuesday evening by around 50 employees from the group’s Fnac and Conforama units. He was then freed by police, a PPR spokeswoman confirmed. The event occurred following a meeting between Pinault and PPR’s European worker’s council. “These were representatives who had attended and been listened to during the meeting,” said the spokeswoman. In late February, PPR revealed plans to trim the workforce at its Conforama and Fnac chains — by around 800 and 400 jobs, respectively — amid a deteriorating consumer environment. There have been a spate of similar incidents across France in the recent past. Also on Tuesday, for instance, four directors of Caterpillar’s French arm were reported to have been blocked by employees demanding improved layoff conditions. Meanwhile, in mid-March, the director of Sony France and three Japanese executives were reported to have been held hostage for 24 hours by workers from a factory due to be closed in southwestern France.